October 12, 2015

STACY MCCAIN: Moving the Goalposts: What Feminist ‘Rape Culture’ Discourse Is About. “American women are now less at risk of rape than at any time in the past 40 years, and the emergence of a frantic hysteria about ‘rape culture’ on college campuses therefore seems contradictory — unless you understand how feminist theory ‘problematizes’ heterosexuality. . . . What Filipovic describes as feminist ‘disenchantment with the “No means no” framework’ amounts to an admission that the recent rhetorical fury about ‘rape culture’ is actually an attempt to move the goalposts, in such a way as to criminalize normal male sexual behavior. The confusion created by so-called ‘affirmative consent’ policies (also known as ‘yes means yes’) is understandable because most people would be shocked senseless if they stopped to consider what it actually means. . . . Filipovic’s suggestion of ‘a different social model’ as the basis for a legal standard where men are deemed guilty of rape if a woman later says did not consent ‘enthusiastically’ raises the question of how such a standard could be enforced. Preventing rape is a laudable goal, but that’s not Filipovic’s goal. Her goal is to make men responsible for women’s post-coital regret.”

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